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    Understanding West African migrant nurses’ work experiences in the United Kingdom: a phenomenological study

    Uwabuike, Chinedu Innocent (2021) Understanding West African migrant nurses’ work experiences in the United Kingdom: a phenomenological study. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Previous research on migrant nurses in the United Kingdom found high levels of dissatisfaction and disappointment with their work experiences. Drawing on theories of exchange relationships, the current research took a qualitative approach to understand more about migrant nurses’ expectations and experiences at work in the United Kingdom. In particular, the researcher explored the role of culture in the nurses’ perceptions of exchange relationships and their responses to unmet expectations and breach. The following research questions were addressed: (1)What reasons and expectations do West African nurses use to explain their migration to the UK? (2) How might cultural conceptions explain Wets African migrant nurses’ perceptions of experiences at work in the United Kingdom? (3) How do West African migrant nurses manage conflicts between their expectations and experiences at work? The research employed a two-studies research design, with data collected using semi structured interviews in two separate phases from a purposive sample of fifteen (N-15) West African migrant nurses working in the South East of England, including London. As an exploratory phenomenological enquiry, template analysis (King, 2012) was used in study one to answer research question 1 and interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers, and Larkin, 2009) was used in study two to answer questions 2 and 3. The findings suggest the nurses’ reasons for migration to the United Kingdom reflected their premigration expectations which then formed the basis for their evaluation of their experiences at work. The research highlighted the complex interactions of expectations, cultural understandings, and experiences. West African migrant nurses’ deep hold on their original cultural values was not only reflected in their perceptions of experiences at work interactions and processes but also in their emotional and behavioural responses to their experiences at work. The nurses, consistent with the high distance cultures in their countries of origin placed a high priority on their relationship with their managers. This relationship, as a matter of cultural significance for the nurses, was expected to serve as the platform for the nurses’ interactions and socialisation in the workplace by providing a sense of paternalistic protection and support at work. The gaps they perceived in this relationship, accounted for their feelings of lack of organisational social support. The nurses’ adoption of a non-voice, avoidance coping response to their perceptions created interactional and socialisation vacuums that denied them the high-quality trust-based manager -employee exchange relationships that they had expected. This, in turn, limited the nurses’ access to the organisational resources, information, and engagement necessary for their wellbeing and career development which was also a part of their pre-migration expectations. While the length of stay in the United Kingdom was not associated with any change in how the nurses perceived their experiences, female nurses, who formed majority of the participants of the research, reported more susceptibility to low moods and emotions as a result of their perceptions of experiences at work. This suggests that international migration from collectivist, patriarchal societies, that socially construct positions and roles for women could have a greater negative impact on women than men. Based on the insights generated, this research offers recommendations for the adoption of individual management approaches which are consistent with the cultural values of migrant employees to achieve the fundamental primacy of trust building. As part of their induction, prospective nursing home managers and overseas nurses on adaptation programmes in the United Kingdom should be helped to develop cultural intelligence (CQ) for the motivational mindset to embrace cultural sensitivities. This will enable the effective appreciation and management of cultural value differences in their organisations.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 13:49
    Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 06:18


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